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ITV coverage on Ebor day at York gets under way with the Group 3 Strensall Stakes over 1m1f. There’s a lot of hold up performers and I have a feeling REAL WORLD is an absolute good thing for Saeed bin Suroor and the likeable Marco Ghiani. The pair were taken out of a race the other day due to rotten ground, but the Royal Hunt Cup and Newbury Listed winner should be able to dictate here should connections want and will be very hard to beat. Odds will be short.
Over at Sandown ITV show the Group 3 Solario Stakes over 7f for two-year-olds. REACH FOR THE MOON should be the one here for The Queen. Second to Point Lonsdale in the Chesham, the Gosdens’ runner then scored well at Newbury last time and looks a tidy performer in the making. Frankie Dettori takes the mount and he should score.
Now the Melrose Handicap over 1m6f. This is much tougher than the races SUMMER’S KNIGHT has been in but he might still take all the beating for Sir Mark Prescott and Luke Morris. The recent Ffos Las winner stays well and has a decent racing weight having gone up 8lb for his last success. I suggested on track that night he might go up 10lb so he could still be well in. I have to stick with him.
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This is the Group 3 Atalanta Stakes over 1m. Another for the Gosdens and Dettori. Indigo Girl did not show much on her comeback at Ascot in a Group 3 behind Dreamloper. However, after a long lay off and running free the Fillies’ Mile runner-up did suggest she had trained on enough to land a race like this. I wouldn’t want to take super short odds though so I’m sticking with the 1,000 Guineas runner-up SAFFRON BEACH for Hollie Doyle and Jane Chapple-Hyam. Things have not gone right since Newmarket but this is her big chance.
This is the Group 2 City of York Stakes over 7f. SPACE BLUES is the one here for Charlie Appleby and William Buick. The Godolphin runner loves this trip and won a decent handicap at this track in his early days. I felt he was slightly below par at Goodwood last time but the soft ground was probably against him then and it was after a break so provided it doesn’t pour down he will take some stopping.
Now the big one, the Ebor Handicap over 1m6f. It won’t be easy under 10st, but I’m staying with the defending champion FUJAIRA PRINCE for Roger Varian and Andrea Atzeni. The lightly raced seven-year-old is one of the few in the field who is able to race close to the pace and see the trip out strongly. Stall 19 is not ideal, but if he gets into a good rhythm out near the front he will be hard to catch. Have a few quid on each-way.
So best of luck and pray for Yeeehaaas. You hear me Paddy?